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Blade Essentials For Circular Saws

Our stores are having a massive Power Tool Sale for the entire month of May. This sounds like a great time to brush up on your essential knowledge when choosing the right blades for your new circular saw.

Circular saws are versatile tools that can be used to make a range of cuts in wood, metal, plastic, concrete, and various other materials. However, you are only as good as the blade you are dealt- and project success heavily relies on selecting the right blade for your job. We hope this is an informative introduction for doing just that.

There are several factors to consider as you choose your blade:

BLADE CONSIDERATIONS

The type of material to be cut.

Is it plywood? Granite? Sheet metal? Acrylic? Choose a specially made blade for the material you need to cut or risk a project failure.

The type of job the cut will accomplish.

Are you making quick, rough cuts that will be hidden once the project is finished, or do you require clean, perfect cuts? Blade types exist for both!

The type of cut perfect for your job.

Circular saws can be used for a countless variety of projects. They can make a basic straight ‘n simple cut, but there are also blades on the market for ripping, crosscutting, and more.

SAW BLADE FEATURES

A good rule of thumb is the fewer teeth, the quicker and rougher the cut. The more teeth, the more precise and cleaner the cut.

The tooth angle will affect how the blade cuts as well. Teeth that lean forward (positive angle teeth) cut more aggressively and are suitable for rough rip cuts. The less severe the angle, the better the blade for clean crosscuts.

The gullet is the space between each tooth- the deeper the gullet, the better at removing large wood chips. In contrast, a shallow gullet will remove fine sawdust from the cut.

Some blades have expansion slots, allowing the blade’s metal to expand as it heats from use so that you may continue cutting accurately and efficiently.

The standard circular saw blade is 7 1/4,” but they come in other specialty sizes. Make sure you choose the correct size for your tool.

COMMON BLADE TYPES

Ripping Blade– Designed to cut along the grain of the wood. They have fewer straight teeth, usually 14 to 24, and a deeper gullet. Perfect for fast, rough cuts. The tooth design allows dust from the cut to be cast off and removed quickly.

 

Crosscutting Blade– Created to cut across the grain of the wood. They have more teeth and a shallower gullet than a ripping blade. The blade cuts with kerfed teeth, meaning the teeth alternate from left to right. These are designed for slow, smooth, and clean cuts.

 

 

General Purpose Blade– The perfect in-between of a crosscutting and ripping blade, beneficial if you intend to make cuts along and across the grain of the wood in a single project and don’t want to keep switching out blades. This is a solid choice if you fancy a practical, all-purpose blade for various projects. They come in a variety of tooth counts.

 

 

Finishing Blade– Has many teeth to create very fine, precise cuts that will be visible in the finished project.

 

Dado Blade– A special blade for a special job, this is explicitly used to cut dadoes and grooves but can also be used to cut moldings and tenons.

 

Thin Kerf Blade– “Kerf” refers to the width of a cut, and a thin kerf blade makes narrow cuts for use with softwoods. Not recommended for rugged woods, as the blade can warp.

 

SPECIALTY MATERIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Treated Wood– You’ll want a thicker kerf when cutting through tough treated wood, ensuring an accurate cut with no flexing.

Plywood– There are blades explicitly designed for cutting plywood as it chips and splinters easily. These blades pack a lot of teeth, usually 40 or more, and minimize any potential splintering.

Plastics– You can also use the same blades you use for cutting wood for cutting plastic. A large teeth count of about 40-60 will give you a satisfactory result.

Masonry– Masonry blades are in a particular category all their own, as they have no teeth. They are made of fiberglass-reinforced silicon carbide abrasive and wear away at the masonry project instead of slicing.

Metal– All kinds of specialist blades exist for cutting metal. Most metals, including ferrous and non-ferrous (I.e., metals containing iron and those without iron components), can be cut by toothless blades with expansion slots.

BLADE BRANDS WE SELL

Diablo

We’re big fans of their blades, for sure. They offer a wide variety of saw blades, from standard types to specialty and finishing. Their blades feature laser-cut stabilizer vents to reduce noise and vibration and a Perma-Shield non-stick coating that helps reduce friction, corrosion, heating, and gumming-up. Diablo is known for its quality, longevity, and great value. They are an excellent choice while shopping for a new blade.

Makita

Saw blades for framing to diamond blades for cutting concrete and offering a variety of high-quality blades to outfit your saws for virtually any job. Makita’s Max Efficiency line of circular saw blades are engineered to provide longer blade life and up to 70% faster cutting and cordless runtime compared to standard blades. Our Premium Diamond Blades, available in various sizes and rim types, are designed to cut up to 40% faster and last up to 4x longer than competitor diamond blades.

Milwaukee

Their circular saw blades and accessories are built to last long and deliver strong performance every time. Accessories like their framing, ripping, general-purpose, fine finish, ultra-fine finish, and fiber cement blades deliver precision and durability for every use. A line of carbide teeth cutting accessories delivers premium performance and the ability to Cut Longer, Cut More, and Cut Faster. Designed with our core trades in mind, Milwaukee’s circular saw accessories are perfect for construction, woodworking, metalworking, and other heavy duty applications.

Trade-A-Blade

Their ‘Trade Credit’ system is simple. Return ANY used blade and SAVE on a BRAND-NEW Trade-a-Blade™. Returned blades are melted down and recycled by a local steel recycler, with all proceeds going to charity.

The Trade-a-Blade™ system rewards users by providing instant savings to returning customers. Every Trade-a-Blade™ product has a ‘Trade Credit’ of $2, $4, $8, or $12 that can be applied to a future Trade-a-Blade™ purchase.

Selecting the proper blade for the job will allow your circular saw to perform better, cleaner, and safer. Choose wisely and if you need help, please call or grab us when shopping for the perfect blade for your next project!